Hand and wrist tendonitis can restrict our range of motion and cause incredible discomfort.
To address these symptoms and improve your quality of life, Dr. Gregg A. Vagner, M.D. can treat tendonitis with conservative physical therapy or, in more severe cases, perform surgery at his practice conveniently located in Austin and Cedar Park, TX.
What treatment options are available for tendonitis?
Hand and Wrist Tendonitis Can Be Effectively Treated with a Variety of Methods
Tendonitis is commonly diagnosed in your upper and lower extremities, but can develop wherever tendons are located in your body. When tendons become irritated from overuse or overstretching, it leads to tendonitis and pain outside the joint.
Understanding the Wrist Anatomy
What is Hand and Wrist Tendonitis?
Hand and wrist tendonitis is when the tendons within your hand, wrist, and fingers are irritated and inflamed due to repetitive activities and overuse. Because it is often confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important for a professional practitioner to examine your hands and wrists to ensure you receive the correct treatment. Pushing through the pain or wearing the wrong type of brace can cause further damage and significantly affect your range of motion.
Common Causes of Hand and Wrist Tendonitis
Athletes who play a sport that requires a lot of gripping, such as tennis, baseball, bowling, or golf are commonly diagnosed with this health condition. In addition, patients who use their hands to perform repetitive motions, such as typing, computer work, playing an instrument, stocking items, sawing, jack hammering, or sewing are at a greater risk for developing hand and wrist tendonitis.
Tendonitis is commonly diagnosed in your upper and lower extremities, but can develop wherever tendons are located in your body.
As the hand and wrist rotate, the tendons continually rub against each other and the carpal bones within your wrist. When this occurs day after day, it can irritate and inflame the tendons, causing tendonitis. Noticing the pain when it occurs and what caused it can help you receive immediate treatment and prevent the issue in the future.
Signs and Symptoms
The side effects of hand and wrist tendonitis vary from patient to patient, but some of the most frequently experienced symptoms include:
- Swelling and inflammation
- Muscle or joint weakness
- Pain, especially when using your hands and wrists
- A noticeable lump within the tendon
- Skin that feels warm to the touch around the affected area
Treating Hand and Wrist Tendonitis
During your physical examination, Dr. Vagner will perform a thorough physical examination, carefully reviewing your medical history and current physical status. He will also have you perform a series of movement tests, such as bending and rotating your wrist, moving your fingers, and raising your arms above your head. If you perform certain activities daily that involve your hands and wrists, he may have you go through those movements to pinpoint the exact motion causing irritation. If he suspects a hand fracture is the root of your issue, he may also recommend further x-rays and MRI imaging.
In mild cases of tendonitis, symptoms can generally be reversed by resting the hand and reducing inflammation. In more severe cases, hand and wrist surgery may be required; however, Dr. Vagner will always begin with conservative treatment first. Once the examination is complete, he will recommend the best form of treatment based on your results, such as:
- Immobilizing the hand by placing it in a sling or soft cast
- Applying ice packs
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
Gregg A. Vagner, M.D.
Dr. Vagner is a double board-certified orthopedic and hand surgeon who combines the latest research and techniques to treat the hands, wrists, and elbows. His accolades and roles in his field include:
- Distinguished Surgeon of the Year Award - Austin Area Association of Perioperative Medicine
- Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery in Perioperative Care - Dell Medical School
- Hand Surgery Consultant - University of Texas Athletic Department